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Belfast banker who drowned during stag party in Marbella was 'bright young fella without a care in the world'

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 26/05/2014

Tragedy: Nigel Sharvin
Tragedy: Nigel Sharvin
The resort of Puerto Banus

A Belfast bank executive who drowned while on a stag party in Spain has been described as a "bright, big young fella without a care in the world".

The body of 37-year-old Nigel Sharvin, from the east of the city, was pulled from the water in Puerto Banus in Marbella, during the early hours of Friday.

The former KPMG accountant, who had worked as an Ulster Bank relationship manager since 2006, was the nephew of Strangford Alliance Party MLA Kieran McCarthy.

He went missing around 2am while he was partying with friends in the port but it is thought the alarm wasn't raised for more than half an hour.

Police divers were called to the luxury Spanish resort on Friday after firefighters had tried but failed to recover Mr Sharvin's body from the marina.

It then emerged that a man had been arrested on suspicion of failing to aid a person in distress.

It was claimed he saw Mr Sharvin in the water but thought he was not in any trouble as he signalled he was fine with a thumbs-up gesture.

Last night, Mr McCarthy told the Belfast Telegraph his nephew would be sorely missed.

"It's absolutely horrendous," he said.

"He was a big young fella going out to enjoy himself and this happens.

"He was out with a number of colleagues. We don't know exactly what happened in his final moments.

"Nigel touched and reached a lot of people in the community. The shock is unbelievable."

Mr Sharvin spent his childhood in South Africa, but had been back in Northern Ireland for more than two decades.

He had lived in Ballynahinch with family until recently, buying a house in east Belfast to be close to work.

A graduate of Ulster, Glamorgan and Southampton universities, he was a qualified accountant and a big rugby and cricket fan.

The banker's brother Richard and mother Janette are due to arrive in Spain today to make arrangements to bring his body home and to find out more about what happened to Mr Sharvin.

Last night, retired businessman and family friend Vincent Fullam said "details are very sketchy".

"It is a terrible tragedy and we are all very sad to hear what has happened," Mr Fullam said.

"His parents are very decent people.

"They don't know if he has fallen and hit his head, or something else has happened.

"The details are very sketchy. His mother and brother will be talking to the British Consulate in Spain."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the death of a British national in Puerto Banus on May 23.

"We are offering consular assistance to the family."

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Mr Sharvin's death is the second tragedy linked to Northern Ireland to occur in the popular resort in recent years.

In 2011, Mark Thompson, a tax consultant from Belfast, died after a quiet night out with friends.

The father-of-one was discovered face down in the marina.

At the time Mr Thompson's family and friends said the police had not taken seriously suggestions he may have been robbed of €100. A post mortem confirmed he had not been drinking heavily.

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